(RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease (WED), is a common condition affecting the nervous system.
Restless legs syndrome causes an overwhelming, irresistible urge to move the legs, and occasionally the arms. It also causes unpleasant feelings and sensations in the legs/arms. The sensation is often worse in the evening or at night.
The sensations, which generally occur within the limb rather than on the skin, are described as:
Symptoms can vary from being mild to severe. In severe cases, the condition can be distressing and can disrupt daily activities
It's not life-threatening, but it can severely disrupt sleep, leading to obstructive sleep apnea and trigger anxiety, pain in legs and depression.
RLS can develop at any age, even during childhood. The disorder is more common with increasing age and more common in women than in men.
Restless legs syndrome usually isn't related to a serious underlying medical problem. However, RLS accompanies other conditions, such as:
Heredity: RLS runs in families, especially if the condition starts before age 50. Researchers have identified sites on the chromosomes where genes for RLS may run in the family.
Pregnancy or hormonal changes may temporarily worsen RLS signs and symptoms. Some women get RLS for the first time during pregnancy, especially during their last trimester. However, signs and symptoms usually disappear after delivery.
Peripheral neuropathy, this damage to the nerves in your hands and feet is sometimes due to chronic diseases such as diabetes and alcoholism.
Iron deficiency, even without anemia, iron deficiency can cause or worsen RLS. If you have a history of bleeding from your stomach or bowels, experience heavy menstrual periods or repeatedly donate blood, you may have iron deficiency.
Kidney failure. If you have kidney failure, you may also have iron deficiency, often with anemia. When kidneys don't function properly, iron stores in your blood can decrease. This, with other changes in body chemistry, may cause or worsen RLS/WED.
Other causes maybe sleep disorders, various medications, And Rheumatoid arthritis etc.
Essential features of RLS are:
You have a strong urge to move your legs (sometimes arms and trunk), usually accompanied or caused by uncomfortable and unpleasant sensations in the legs.
Your symptoms begin or become worse when you are resting or inactive, such as when lying down or sitting.
Your symptoms get better when you move, such as when you walk or stretch, at least as long as the activity continues. The incidence of restless legs syndrome according to some studies in India is stated to be 6.25% in healthy subjects as compared to 34.37% in anemic patients. The study found that chronic menorrhagia and repeated blood donations (> 5 times) were significantly associated with increased occurrence of RLS.The incidence of RLS has been reported to be 1.5 - 6.6% in patients of chronic renal failure as well.
Some people with restless legs syndrome never seek medical attention because they worry they won't be taken seriously. Some people wrongly attribute symptoms to nervousness, stress, Insomnia or muscle cramps. The fact is that restless leg syndrome is a well-documented medical condition and can be treted successfully.
If you think you have Restless Leg Syndrome call us!